Women's Soccer Heads to Cal State Fullerton For Saturday Friendly
Aug. 10, 2017
SAN DIEGO -
Game Day Preview
- SDSU reported to fall camp on July 31 and conducted its first training session on Aug. 1. The roster features eight newcomers, including seven true freshmen, six returning starters and 12 letterwinners.
- San Diego State is facing Cal State Fullerton for the first time since 2014 when the schools met atop SDSU Sports Deck for a friendly that ended in a 2-2 tie. In fact, the schools opposed each other for an exhibition in Fullerton the season before, which also ended in a deadlock (0-0).
- In the 2014 exhibition, four current Aztec seniors saw action as true freshmen. Stacie Moran and Aliyah Utush received starting assignments, while Xochi Hunter and Angela Mitchell came off the bench. Moran played the full 90 minutes along the backline, Utush had one assist in 61 minutes, Hunter logged 38 minutes and Mitchell recorded 34 minutes.
- In the the 2014 friendly, the Titans received second-half goals from then-true freshmen and current seniors Tala Haddad (51:44) and Sarah Fajnor (72:52) to take a 2-0 lead. San Diego State, however, answered in the 77th minute when Haley Locker connected with Hannah Keane (76:11) and found the equalizer in the 87th minute after Erika Leal scored off an Utush feed (86:27).
- SDSU will take the field on Saturday as the preseason favorite to win the Mountain West. The Aztecs for the fifth straight year were picked to win the league in a poll of the league’s head coaches. San Diego State edged San José State in points, 110-108, and each received three first-place votes. UNLV (3rd place; 5 first-place votes; 101 points) and Utah State (4th place, 1 first-place vote; 97 points) were the other schools to receive first-place consideration.
- Head coach Mike Friesen, who owns the Mountain West record for most conference victories (61), can break the school record of 122 victories when his team takes the pitch at UCLA on Aug. 18. The 11th-year head coach is currently tied with Chuck Clegg for most wins in program history. Both have 122 Ws on their career ledger.
- Friesen’s next regular-season triumph will move him into sole possession of second place for most overall wins in Mountain West history. At 122 victories, he is tied with former New Mexico head coach Kit Vela. BYU’s Jennifer Rockwood is the conference all-time leader with 190 wins from 1999-2010.
- Friesen finds himself in a position to break the school-record total thanks to a six-year run that has produced 84 victories, which is the most over any six-year period in program history. The win total is one better than the Aztecs’ run from 1994-99 when they won 83 times.
- SDSU has won at least 10 games in six consecutive seasons. This year’s team will look to match the school record of seven straight 10-win campaigns, something that was first accomplished from 1993-99 and produced 93 victories.
- San Diego State will look to produce another double-digit win season and capture its fifth MW regular-season title in the last six years without the services of departed senior Victoria Barba, who totaled a team-high 11 goals, three assists and a team-best 25 points in 2016. Fortunately for the Aztecs, they return their No. 2, 3 and 4 scorers from last year in Utush (3 goals, team-high 7 assists, 13 points), Mitchell (4 goals, 8 points) and Dani DeRosa (2 goals, 1 assist, 5 points).
- Utush (15 goals, 15 assists, 45 points, 62 career games) returns as a 2016 all-Mountain West second-team honoree and Mitchell (16 goals, 1 assist, 33 points, 61 career games) is a 2015 all-conference second-team performer herself. DeRosa, meanwhile, has 30 points (12 goals, 6 assists) in 60 career games to her credit.
- Defensively, the Aztecs bring back a pair of players who were anchors in the heart of the backline in senior defender Stacie Moran and sophomore goalkeeper Gabby English. Moran, a three-time all-Mountain West selection, started all 21 games and was a threat offensively, taking 13 shots last year. In fact, Moran has started all 63 games since she stepped foot on campus. As for English, the Floridian started all 21 games in her first year of eligibility as a redshirt freshman. Her eight shutouts were the eighth-most in SDSU single-season history and went with her 1.26 GAA and 84 saves.
- Joining Moran and English in the backfield are returners Ariana Robles, Hailey Balma, Bailey Cook and Eden Kawabe. Robles saw action in 19 games, starting 17, and had one assist. Balma played in 13 contests and started twice, but brings three years of experience in the program (35 games, 15 starts). As for Cook and Kawabe, the sophomores combined to play in 23 games to go with three starts.